I love to exercise.
Correction: I like to exercise.
Correct, correction: I like to exercise when the workout routine requires anything but running.
I know, I know. I've heard it all before, "If you run often enough, you'll eventually love it."
Nevertheless, I loathe the exercise that requires I put one foot in front of the other for long periods of time. And no matter how often I do it, I find that no amount of suffering through it makes me enjoy the experience any more.
I get it, some people naturally love running. However, I and many others are just not built for it and all its wonders. Even though we are happy to be left out of the strenuous activities running entails, this hatred does, admittedly, leave us out of the calorie-burning benefits running has to offer. So, what do we do?
Don't sweat it. For those of us that hate running, or like running but want a change, here are some calorie-burning alternatives that don't require you give into the peer pressure of being about that running life. Besides, these exercises burn more calories than running anyway. Check them out:
Average Calorie Burn: 585 calories per hour (breaststroke)/540 calories per hour (backstroke), or 784 calories per hour (butterfly) at a moderate to vigorous pace.
Like the exercises beforehand, the calorie-burning advantages for swimming outweighs running. When you swim, you get a full-body workout that is easier on your joints than running. Running requires the majority of the lower-body muscles while swimming also requires your lower-body, such as the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps. It also requires upper body muscles to pull the body through the water, therefore, building upper-body strength that running does not.
Based off studies conducted by RI Health and Fitness Magazine:
"You can burn off roughly 350 calories during a vigorous, intense 30-minute swim. If you burn 500 calories more than you eat every day, you can lose a pound a week. You can lose almost 90% of your body weight with swimming. It takes more physical effort to swim two miles than it does to run two miles. In other words, swimming takes more of a cardio effort than running does."
Bonus: Swimming not only burns more calories than running, but it is also low-impact, provides a total body workout, helps those with asthma, and improves body awareness.
Featured image by Getty Images
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Originally published January 25, 2019